Author Bill McKibben's web site 350.org is initiating a world-wide day of climate action this Saturday, October 24th, with events as widespread as a black-tie gala in Shanghai to a group hug in Yukon Territory, all in the name of protecting the environment.
"350" refers to the atmospheric CO2 level McKibben and others want world political and business leaders to focus on as a stabilization goal. The earth hasn't seen 350 parts per million since 1987, a huge leap from pre-industrial levels of 280 ppm, but not even close to the 400-550 ppm to which some scientists fear we are currently headed. Among scientists, 350-550 ppm is considered the range in which drastic and irreversible climate change will occur, such as massive sea level rise, changes to ecosystems, agriculture and animal migrations.
"Our job is to change the political reality," McKibben said, "because the physical and chemical reality is not going to change."
350.org has reaped the rewards of social networking sites, and since the idea for an International Day of Climate Action was posted, it has spread virally around the world. Saturday, over 4,000 events are planned in 170 countries, with 1500 in the United States alone.
Go to the site to search your zip code for events happening near you.